Good morning! Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up today. Some plans are subject to change; see the 2 p.m. News Digest for updates. You can find our contact info at the bottom of this advisory.
Among today’s coverage highlights as we see them at 10:15 a.m. EST:
— DEEP FREEZE (sent; developing)
— CONGRESS (sent; developing)
— HEALTH CARE SPENDING (upcoming)
— LIZ CHENEY-SENATE (sent; developing)
— SHOTGUN COHABITATION (upcoming)
— VETERANS VS CHILD PREDATORS (sent)
— SYRIA (sent; developing)
— IRAN-PUSHING FERTILITY (upcoming)
— EGYPT-STATE SECURITY RETURN (upcoming)
— BCS CHAMPIONSHIP (upcoming)
PHOTOS: DEEP FREEZE (sent; developing); BRITAIN-LAWYERS PROTEST (sent; with text); NATIONAL ZOO-PANDA (upcoming; with text and video); TAIWAN-PANDAMONIUM (sent; with text)
VIDEO: DEEP FREEZE (sent; developing); SUPER BOWL-PROSTITUTION (sent; with text) RODMAN-NORTH KOREA (sent; with text)
Here are details of those stories, plus others we have in the works for today and notable pieces that we sent in the past 10 hours (all times EST):
DEEP FREEZE – A whirlpool of frigid, dense air known as a “polar vortex” descends into much of the U.S., pummeling parts of the country with a dangerous cold that could break decades-old records. SENT: 1,200 words, photos, video. UPCOMING: Story will be updated frequently (nearly every hour) throughout today. Focus today on how the northern part of the region is coping reasonably well with the conditions, compared to places like Indianapolis and St. Louis, where activities have come to a grinding halt; also watching transportation and effects on homeless and other vulnerable.
— DEEP FREEZE-THE WIND: For the tens of millions of Americans trapped in the deep freeze, it’s not the cold. It’s the wind. SENT: 740 words, photos.
— DEEP FREEZE-STATE BY STATE: A look at the bitter cold creeping into the central and eastern part of the U.S. SENT: 800 words, photos.
— DEEP FREEZE-HAZARDS: Frostbite, car trouble: Record-breaking cold can cause life-threatening hazards, experts warn. SENT: 900 words, photos.
— DEEP FREEZE-PHOTO GALLERY: Upcoming.
TONSILLECTOMY-BRAIN DEAD GIRL Acting with a court order, the family of a 13-year-old California girl declared brain dead after a tonsillectomy has had her taken from a California hospital to be cared for elsewhere. SENT: 880 words, photos. UPCOMING: 850 words with more details on the move by 3 p.m.
MISSING MAN-PHOTOGRAPH – A missing man who was reunited with his family after he was photographed while pressed against a steam vent to keep warm in downtown Washington is on his way back home to upstate New York. SENT: 130 words.
CHILD DROWNS – Authorities say a 9-year-old boy drowned when he fell through the ice on a pond in southwestern Ohio. SENT: 100 words.
TODDLER SLAPPED – A man who pleaded guilty to slapping a crying toddler on a flight is due in federal court for sentencing, and prosecutors are asking for six months in prison. SENT: 140 words. UPCOMING: 400 words by 1 p.m.
GREAT LAKES-ASIAN CARP – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is scheduled to release a long-anticipated study today listing options for shielding the Great Lakes from an attack by ravenous Asian carp. UPCOMING: 700 words by 4 p.m. Release of report scheduled around 1 p.m.
AMERICAN TERROR PLOT — A woman who called herself “Jihad Jane” and helped suspected terrorists overseas faces the possibility of life in prison at her sentencing in Philadelphia. SENT: 130 words, photo. UPCOMING: Update after 10a start of hearing, then 600 words by 3 p.m.
TEXAS ABORTION RESTRICTIONS — A federal appeals court is set to review a Texas law that led to the closing of many abortion clinics. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 600 words by 5 p.m.
PRIEST ABUSE-APPEAL — A Roman Catholic church official is in court for the first time since his conviction in a priest sex-abuse scandal was reversed. SENT: 130 words, photo. UPCOMING: Updates from hearing scheduled to start at 9 a.m., then 400 words by 2 p.m., photo, video.
COLORADO PLANE CRASH — A private jet carrying three people crash lands in the mountain resort of Aspen, Colorado, killing one man and injuring two others. Officials say the flight originated in Mexico. SENT: 650 words, photos. UPCOMING: 600 words with more details on victim by 3 p.m.
NATIONAL ZOO-PANDA — A public debut isn’t scheduled until Jan. 18, but the AP and other media outlets will get their first look at cub Bao Bao in her panda house this morning. UPCOMING: 130 words by 10 a.m., photos, video.
WASHINGTON AND POLITICS
CONGRESS – Congress is back to work today, facing a hefty list of unfinished business and a politically driven agenda in an election year. The Senate has scheduled votes on Yellen to head the Federal Reserve and on a three-month extension of benefits for the long-term unemployed. SENT: 1,080 words, photos. . UPCOMING, developing from late-afternoon and evening votes; 850 words by 5 p.m., photos.
– CONGRESS-WHAT’S NEXT – Fed chairman, farm bill on Congress’ to-do list. SENT: 440 words.
LIZ CHENEY-SENATE: Liz Cheney abandons her effort to unseat Republican incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming, citing unspecified “serious health issues” that “have recently arisen in our family” as the reason for her decision. Cheney’s candidacy had raised hackles in the Republican Party and caused a public rift with her sister, Mary, a lesbian, over Liz Cheney’s opposition to gay marriage. SENT: 410 words, photo. UPCOMING: Developing; details TBD.
HEALTH CARE SPENDING (EMBARGOED UNTIL 4 p.m.) – The nation’s health care tab isn’t growing like it used to. New government figures show a fourth consecutive year of slow growth in 2012, as economic growth outpaced the increase in health care spending. UPCOMING: 800 words at 4 p.m., photo.
SHOTGUN COHABITATION – No longer taboo, living together has become a more common arrangement for America’s dating couples who unexpectedly become parents. It’s a major cultural shift since the days of “shotgun weddings” to avoid family embarrassment over an unplanned pregnancy. UPCOMING: 900 words by 3 p.m., photos.
VETERANS VS CHILD PREDATORS – Oskar Zepeda has had pretty much one mission in his life: kill or capture. After serving nine tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, he now has a new target — child predators. SENT: 890 words, photos.
SYRIA – Clashes between Syrian rebels and their rivals from an al-Qaida-linked faction spread today from the country’s opposition-held areas in the north to a key eastern city, activists said. SENT: 680 words, photos. UPCOMING: Developing.
IRAQ – Iraq’s prime minister urges residents and tribes of Fallujah to “expel” al-Qaida militants from this western city to avoid an all-out battle. SENT: 700 words, photos.
ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS – A Palestinian official says the Palestinians have reservations about some of Kerry’s ideas for the outlines of a peace deal with Israel, particularly on the future of Jerusalem. SENT: 130 words.
AP EXCLUSIVE: RODMAN-NORTH KOREA – Dennis Rodman and a team of former NBA players arrive in North Korea for a game he says will be a “birthday present” for one of their most unlikely fans: leader Kim Jong Un. SENT: 730 words, photos, video.
IRAN-PUSHING FERTILITY – Having curbed birth rates for two decades, Iran is once again promoting a baby boom to help make up for its graying population. Free condoms and government-backed vasectomies are out, replaced instead by efforts to make things easier for new parents and suggestions by the country’s supreme leader that one or two children per couple may not be enough. UPCOMING: 950 words, photos by 3 p.m.
EGYPT-STATE SECURITY RETURN – After a recent bombing hit a security headquarters in Egypt’s Nile Delta, calls flooded into a hotline run by security agencies as people reported suspected members of the Muslim Brotherhood in their neighborhoods. In the weeks since, hotline numbers have been heavily advertised, running in a scroll on the bottom of many TV news broadcasts. The hotline is one sign of how Egypt’s National Security Agency — once a pillar of the police state under ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak — is reclaiming a major role amid a wave of militant violence. UPCOMING: 1,100 words, photos by 1 p.m.
EGYPT-CHRISTIANS — Egypt’s Coptic Christians hold late night Christmas mass amid tight security measures in the face of the threat of terror attacks on churches but filled with hope after the removal of Islamist rule. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 3 p.m.
GERMANY-MERKEL – Merkel’s spokesman says she cracked her pelvis during a skiing accident in the Swiss Alps and will have to cut back on her work schedule for the next three weeks. SENT: 150 words, photo.
BRITAIN-LAWYERS PROTEST – Hundreds of British lawyers — many dressed in traditional white curled wigs and black gowns — have swapped courtrooms for picket lines to protest planned cuts to legal aid. SENT: 320 words, photos.
CHINA-MOSQUE DEATHS – A stampede broke out during an event at a mosque in northern China, killing 14 people and injuring 10 others, a state news agency said today. SENT: 140 words.
BANGLADESH-ELECTION – The longstanding enmity between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and opposition leader Khaleda Zia, both of whom earn the honorific “begum” for Muslim women of rank, is once again at the heart of the country’s latest political crisis. SENT: 890 words, photos.
KOREAS-TENSION – South Korea’s president calls for resuming reunions of families separated by war, expressing hopes that the humanitarian program would improve strained ties between the rival Koreas. SENT: 470 works, photos.
ISRAEL-AFRICAN MIGRANTS – Thousands of African migrants in Israel marched up to the embassies of the United States and European countries today to demand asylum and work rights from the government. SENT: 400 words, photos.
JAPAN-ABE -Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he wants to explain to leaders in China and South Korea about his visits to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, which honors the country’s war dead, but Beijing again calls on him to correct his views on Japan’s role in World War II. SENT: 470 words, photos.
VATICAN-EPHIPHANY – Pope Francis offered another gesture to Catholics who are estranged from the church, saying he respects them but that God is waiting for them. SENT: 190 words, photos.
JAPAN-CHINA-VOLDEMORT – As if Harry Potter isn’t popular enough, the evil Lord Voldemort from British author J.K. Rowling’s best-selling children’s series has been dragged into the feud between Japan and China. SENT: 180 words, photos.
INDIA-BUILDING COLLAPSE – Rescuers find two more bodies under a massive pile of broken concrete from a building that collapsed while being constructed, raising the death toll to at least 17 workers. SENT: 230 words, photos.
CHINA-IVORY DESTRUCTION – China destroys about 6 tons of illegal ivory from its stockpile in an unprecedented move wildlife groups say shows growing concern about the black market trade by authorities in the world’s biggest market for elephant tusks. SENT: 400 words, photos.
ANTARCTICA-WHALING – A group of anti-whaling activists chases Japan’s whaling fleet in the icy waters off Antarctica, as the country’s annual Antarctic whale hunt gets under way. SENT: 350 words, photos.
SINGAPORE-AIRLINE-EMERGENCY LANDING – Singapore Airlines superjumbo makes emergency landing in Azerbaijan after cabin pressure falls. SENT: 200 words.
TAIWAN-PANDAMONIUM A 6-month-old giant panda is unveiled to her adoring public in Taiwan, as long lines of children of all ages queue up at the Taipei zoo to see the cub cavorting around her cage with an understandably protective mother. SENT: 280 words, photos.
GADGET SHOW-DOLBY TV — Dolby, long known for pristine sound, is now trying to improve what you see. The company unveiled Dolby Vision, a technology that increases the brightness and contrast of TV sets. Prototype models will be on display from TV manufacturers such as Sharp and TCL. SENT: 380 words.
— GADGET SHOW-ROKU TV — Roku Inc. is launching a line of TVs that play video from services like Netflix without requiring a set-top box. SENT: 125 words, photo.
— GADGET SHOW-NVIDIA-CROP CIRCLE — A 310-foot “crop circle” in a California barley field that mystified locals this week was explained Sunday: it was a publicity stunt by Nvidia Corp., a maker of chips for PCs and smartphones. SENT: 340 words.
FRANCE-GOODYEAR-BOSSES HELD – Workers at a restive Goodyear plant in northern France are detain two managers in a conference room at the tire factory. The incident resurrects the practice of “boss-napping,” a tactic of aggrieved workers that had largely tapered off since peaking in France in 2009 at the height of the economic meltdown. SENT: 140 words. UPCOMING: 350 words by 12 p.m.
BCS CHAMPIONSHIP – Top-ranked Florida State and No. 2 Auburn will write the final chapter on the college football season when they decide the national championship tonight. UPCOMING: Developing from 8:30 p.m. game.
SUPER BOWL-PROSTITUTION – Oficials are trying a new approach to combating prostitution during the Super Bowl, training legions of law enforcement personnel, hospitality workers and others statewide to recognize the signs of trafficking SENT: 990 words, photos, video.
SOCHI-GOOD AND BAD – Tuesday marks the 1-month countdown to the start of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, a defining moment on the world stage for Russia and Putin. SENT: 1,270 words, photos.
AGING AMERICA-SENIORS WORK FOR SENIORS – Burgeoning demand for senior services like home health aides is being met by a surprising segment of the workforce: Other seniors. SENT: 820 words, photos.
MUSIC-BEATLES SPECIAL – The Eurythmics are reuniting – to pay tribute to the Beatles. SENT: 390 words, photos.
HOW TO REACH US
At the Nerve Center, Karen Mahabir, Amir Bibawy and Marco Mulcahy can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, Swayne B. Hall (ext. 1900). For graphics and interactives, Nathan Griffiths (ext. 7636). Expanded AP content can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 877-836-9477.